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Patient sent home with C difficile


29 November, 2007  

Health officials have apologised after a man was discharged from hospital without being told he had contracted a potentially fatal superbug.

Joseph Grant’s wife only discovered he was suffering from Clostridium difficile (C difficile) when an ambulance man who was driving her husband home told her he would have to disinfect his vehicle.

Ellen Grant, 59, of Heron Rise, Dundee, said ward staff at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital should have informed her about her husband’s condition.

Mr Grant, 61, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and has had a stroke, was treated at the hospital for stomach problems at the weekend.

Mrs Grant, who is a registered nurse, said: “I’m so angry that we were left completely in the dark.

“I can’t believe they were happy and willing to send Joseph home and not tell us anything or give us any information about how to protect ourselves from contracting the infection.

“We have grandchildren and carers who could have been put at risk.”

An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said: “There has clearly been a breakdown in communication here and we can only apologise for any distress this has caused the patient or his family.”

She added that NHS Tayside was investigating why staff had not informed Mr Grant’s family that he was suffering from the C difficile bug.

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NHS Tayside